n African Entomology - Life history of the threatened Karkloof blue butterfly, Orachrysops ariadne (Lepidoptera : Lycaenidae)
|Article Title||Life history of the threatened Karkloof blue butterfly, Orachrysops ariadne (Lepidoptera : Lycaenidae)|
|© Publisher:||Entomological Society of South Africa (ESSA)|
|Author||S-S. Lu and M.J. Samways|
|Publication Date||Sep 2001|
|Pages||137 - 151|
|Keyword(s)||Conservation, Karkloof blue butterfly, Life history, Myrmecophily and Orachrysops ariadne|
The behaviour and life history of the threatened Karkloof blue butterfly, Orachrysops ariadne (Butler) (Lepidoptera : Lycaenidae), were studied between 1997 and 1999. The butterfly is now known from four sites in KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa. O. ariadne is univoltine and on the wing in March and April, when it utilizes eight species of nectar plants. The oviposition plant is Indigofera woodii H. Bol. var. laxa H. Bol. (Fabaceae), an erect variety. This butterfly is ant-dependent, with the young larva being taken into the nest of Camponotus natalensis (F. Smith) (Hymenoptera : Formicidae) where development continues, including pupation. Indications are that the critical factor limiting population levels is oviposition plant availability.
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